Lot 170

Jacob van Toorenvliet,
1635/41 Leiden - 1719 Oegstgeest


OIL on copper with recognizable hammer blow on verso

. 13.8 x 11.3 cm. The picture is monogrammed
and dated "JT 1667"

As the son of a glass painter and drawing teacher, Toorenvliet was early apprenticed to Gerard Dou, a brother-in-law of his father. In 1659, after finishing his apprenticeship, the first painting he became known to date is also dated. On journeys to Vienna and Rome, and then again in Rome in 1670, he absorbed fewer stylistic influences than impressions that were to shape his work in genre painting. Married in Venice, he moved with his family again to Vienna in 1673, where he remained until 1679. The dating of the present picture allows us to correct the previous opinion that the small-format works were only created in the years after 1579 by dating them in 1667. The consideration of his life after the creation of the portrait can thus be disregarded here. What is more important, however, is that during the years of the creation of the present painting, Toorenvliet also devoted himself to the subject of Jewish life, which is considered to be remarkable and unique. Thus it is obvious that the little picture is possibly a grey-bearded Jewish man who has just held a wine glass in the rite of the wine blessing in his left hand. This assumption is supported by the tranquillity of the picture, quite in contrast to the other depictions of him as a drinker, by the sable-fur-trimel hat typical of the period, but also by the type of collar over a greenish-black smock. Like all his small-format portraits, this portrait-like depiction is also extremely finely brushed. The lighting from the left conveys a warm colouring. A.R.

The painter was a pupil of his father, educated in Rome and later worked in Vienna and Leiden. He became known for his preferably half-portrait-like, half-moral depictions of higher social classes; numerous works of his hand in public collections such as Berlin, Bordeaux, Budapest, Graz, Innsbruck, Karlsruhe, Liège, Venice, Warsaw, Dresden or Weimar. (1241865) (1)

Jacob van Toorenvliet,
1635/41 Leiden - 1719 Oegstgeest

Oil on copper.
Hammer strokes visible on the reverse.
13.8 x 11.3 cm.
Monogrammed and dated "JT 1667" top margin.

The date "1667" on the present painting helps to adjust previous assumptions that these small format paintings were created only after 1579. A review of his oeuvre after the creation of the portrait can therefore be disregarded here. It is important to bear in mind that during the period of the creation of the present painting, Toorenvliet focused on subjects of Jewish life, which are considered remarkable and unique. It is therefore conceivable that the man with the grey beard in the picture is possibly of Jewish heritage.
Like all of his small format portraits, the present painting is also executed in fine painting.
The direction of light from the left conveys a warm colouration.